Summer Study Abroad

Summer is an exciting time for students, offering endless choices of activities to fill the semester. Many students struggle with the decision of what to do with their newfound free time. Do you intern, start a co-op, take classes at the Institute, or simply head back home?

One of the most popular choices for summer activities among the Institute’s students is studying abroad. Over 51% of students opt to study abroad during their time at the Tech, and of that group, most choose a program that takes place over the summer.

Students choose to study abroad for a variety of reasons. Ariana Paris, a second-year ME, and a current participant of the Oxford Summer Program, explains why she chose to participate in a study abroad program this semester.

“When I applied to Tech, I did a lot of research and found out-of-state students can study abroad for in-state tuition, so immediately I knew I wanted to study abroad,” said Paris.

The promise of lower tuition costs pushes many out-of-state students similar to Paris to choose to study abroad. However, tuition is not the only cost students face while abroad.

“Initially, I was nervous because studying abroad is expensive and I didn’t have a lot of money saved up,” Paris said.

This is a problem many students can relate to. Even in-state students have to consider the extra costs of studying a semester out of the country such as food, housing, and extra fees. These costs are only exacerbated if students plan additional travel, which comes with other worries such as safety and health.

“I was nervous about street skills and getting sick abroad. Traveling with a good group of people has made it so that I have no issues,” Paris said.

Despite these worries, many students take the plunge, choosing to study abroad and face the risks head on. Paris confronts her worries with a particularly strong outlook.

“I realized I would only be able to do this in college. I realized I am never again going to be able to travel the world for three months of my life,” Paris said.

Many students take great advantage of this opportunity by traveling to many different international locations during their programs.

“I ended up choosing Oxford, and I am so glad with that choice. They plan out a lot of my travels. I just hop on a bus or a plane week to week and I am in a different city,” Paris said.

Programs recognize that students prioritize traveling, and many faculty-led programs include three-day or four-day weekends, allowing students to take advantage of the opportunities around them.

Traveling is about more than the location for many students. The food, culture and new experiences make studying abroad valuable. To Paris, her travel companions have been a key part in making her experiences abroad worthwhile.

“The people I am traveling with have become some of my best friends abroad. My first-year roommate is doing the same program as me, which has been great,” said Paris.

Many students at the Institute also take classes over the summer in an effort to save money and graduate earlier.

“I researched different programs that matched my classes, so I will be able to graduate a semester early, which is a big plus,” Paris said.

The Institute’s many study abroad programs cover the content of all schools on the main campus. Some programs, such as the Oxford Summer Program and Georgia Tech Europe, offer more general classes under many different departments required by several majors. Other programs, like the Barcelona Summer Program, cater to specific majors, offering higher level classes in process.

Overall, regardless of program choice or location, students who study abroad resoundingly approve of and promote their experiences. For Paris and other students at the Institute, studying abroad offers new adventures and growth while continuing their degree.

“Even if you are nervous, definitely do it. I was pretty nervous but it ended up working out for the best. Just go for it,” Paris said.